Podcast Episode 41 - Perfectionism and Self-Criticism

This is going to be a discussion about perfectionism and self-criticism. Perfectionism is a really major theme that I have dealt with in my life, and I think it goes hand in hand with opinions and self-criticism. In my perspective, what we're talking about from a human design lens, is gate 17 and gate 18. These are my north and south nodes. I have gate 17 defined three times in my chart, and I have gate 18 defined twice. Let me just talk about my experience with gate 17 and 18. 

Gate 17 and 18 are pairing partners in gene keys. When you have a pairing partner, what that means is they're direct opposites. They are energies that balance each other out. There are certain things in the Rave Mandala, the planetary movement of things, that happen and move at the same time. For example, the sun and the Earth are always moving in opposition. If you have a conscious sun in gate 17, your Earth will be in gate 18, every single time. It's the same for the opposite. If you have gate 18 as your conscious sun or an unconscious sun, the pairing partner will always be gate 17.

The north and the south nodes also move in this pairing partner energy. I have gate 17 as both of my south nodes and gate 18 as both of my north nodes in my human design chart. Gate 17 is also my unconscious Saturn, so I feel like my opinions are probably going to be really torn up and thrown for a loop when my Saturn return comes in a couple of years. That'll be a fun moment to experience.

But when I think about gate 17 and 18, these pairing partners, it makes me think about how opinions and judgment kind of bounce off each other. Gate 17 is in the ajna center. It's all about opinions. It's logical. It's the debating channel. With this gate, if I have a strong opinion, I can pretty much convince anybody that I am right, and the facts that I state sound very factual. It sounds like a very logical argument. 

With every single gate, every single gene key, the shadows are where the gift is created. It's where we find the gift. You don't cultivate the gift of each gate without experiencing the shadows. For example, with gate 17, we have the gift of farsightedness. What this gift of farsightedness means is it's the perspective. It's this mental awareness of its pattern recognition. When you're logically able to form an opinion and form a perspective, you're looking at information, this is on logical circuitry, it's able to recognize patterns and almost predict what's going to happen next. This farsightedness, this beautiful gift that is created through gate 17, is only created when you experience the shadows.

You don't become farsighted, and you're not able to just see and predict how patterns are going to unfold without forming opinions and without going between the reactive and the repressive shadows, which are opinionated and self-critical. Opinionated is the reactive shadow of gate 17. Anytime we have a reactive shadow of a gate, it's almost like hyperactivity to me when I think about energetic maintenance. I think about the human body and how equilibrium is where we're always trying to be. It's that perfect space of balance, and it's somewhere between the two extremes of too much and too little.

We have so many systems in our body that work on a negative feedback loop; if there is not enough of this, we're going to add more. Essentially, you can either add or take away in the body. Let's say your sodium levels are off. Your sodium levels can either be too high or too low. We like our sodium to be in a very specific range in our bodies, and if your body has too much, that's kind of hyperactive. You've got way too much going on, and you're going to need to let go of some of that energy. If you don’t have enough, you're going to want to get more. This is how I think about all the gates, channels, and even shadows in human design, it's about finding balance and equilibrium. 

Going back to farsighted, it is somewhere in the middle of self-critical and opinionated. Opinionated is the hyperactive shadow. When I think about reactivity, I think about fear. I think about fear of whatever I say, it's not going to be enough, and so I have to do more and more and more and more. Gate 17 is an Aries gate. It's about perspectives. It's reaching towards the throat center, so this is a projected channel that is going to share an opinion,. If you are in that reactive shadow, you’re not waiting for any invitations. You are sharing your opinions and ideas like unsolicited advice, and it’s too much. It's painful. The people around you don't want to be around you because you have so many opinions, and you're going to let everyone know what your judgments are, what you believe, what you think, what your perspective is, and it can come across as very judgmental in my experience. You are giving all of this information, and you are looking for recognition. With all the reactive shadows, especially in projected channels, there's this fear of whatever I do, no matter how many opinions I share, it's not enough. You're trying to convince other people that you are right, so you go into this hyperactive over giving, sharing your opinion, and it's going to end up being repelling. 

In my journey, I have had a lot of reactive shadows in my life before I found human design, before I started doing this work. I was in this state of fear of whatever I do, it's not going to be enough, so I have to do more, more, more, more, more. If I had an opinion, I would share it relentlessly. I would convince anyone who would listen of what my side was. It's interesting that now I've learned about human design and and I've gone through my own experience with deconditioning, I'm aware of these reactive shadows. I've almost overcorrected and gone into this repressive energy, or I've noticed the repressed energy a little bit more.

The repressed energy of gate 17 is aware that it can be super opinionated and turns into self-criticism. I know that I over explain things. I know I'm long-winded. I know not everyone wants to know all the facts that pop into my head every single time I think about a single topic. On the other side of that, if I'm aware of that, I'm going to become very self-critical. As a projected channel, the 17-62 channel is not designed to be turned around on you. It's not designed to be introspective. It's designed to be something that's supportive of the collective since it's on collective circuitry. It's designed to show other people. It's designed to be projected outwards, not necessarily projected inward. 

What I have realized in my experience is I've been so self-critical over these past couple of months around my opinions, and I've almost been afraid to share my opinions. I go through thinking that I know that this is just my opinion, and I'm critical of myself before anyone else can be critical of me. I think that a lot of this started happening when I got triggered. 

I used to share my opinions all the time, and I knew that like it was for some people and not for other people, and I got a lot of judgment for it. I attracted a lot of people who disagreed with me. I attracted people who made long videos talking about how they don't like the way that I approach business, and they don't like me in general. I experienced cyberbullying as an adult in the entrepreneurial world, in this beautiful self-help human design community that I thought was super safe, and I thought was a great space for me to share my opinions. I was criticized, and I was judged very, very harshly. 

That created this conditioning of fear of sharing my opinions. Suddenly, I was overthinking. “I have this opinion, but someone’s probably going to judge me, so how can I state it in a way that's a little bit more omniscient? How can I state it in a way that's more perfect? How can I state it in a way that is applicable to everyone? Instead of just sharing my opinion, I was justifying my right to that opinion. I was softening the blow. I became so self-critical that I stopped being able to share my opinions. It led to almost silence, and it led to me really holding back a lot of my opinions because of that fear of judgment and that fear of what are other people going to think?

Now looking at gate 18, the shadow here is judgment, and through the shadow of judgment, we create the gift of integrity. We have the reactive shadow of superiority, where essentially because you have this judgment and this splenic awareness of what corrections need to be made, there's a sense of superiority because you're able to see the corrections that other people could make. You are able to see the things that they could improve on. Again, it's a projected channel here. So, in order to share your judgments and stay in integrity, you want to be waiting for that invitation. But there's this reactive energy of feeling like you have all the judgements, and you need to correct them. It's almost like because you have that awareness, there's a superiority. Like, "I am better than other people because I know these corrections, and I have to share them so that they can get better." On the other side, we have inferiority, where you are judging yourself and you are comparing yourself to other people, but you are seeing yourself as less than. Since gate 17 and 18 are pairing partners, they work together, and the shadows will really feed off each other.

So, when I'm opinionated, I'm also being judgmental. Opinions and judgment go hand in hand. When I'm being super opinionated, if I'm in the reactive shadows, I'm opinionated and I feel better than everyone else. I feel superior and I feel like I have a right to share my opinions, and I have the right opinion and you are wrong. I am not open to hearing what anyone else has to say. That’s the reactive shadow. On the other side of that, this repressive shadow, I am extremely self-critical. I'm judging myself for everything that I think, everything that I do, every action, everything, and I feel like I am the absolute worst. I am zero in comparison to everyone else. It's really that energy of inferiority. 

Somewhere between being completely self-critical and being really opinionated, somewhere between inferiority and superiority, we find this energy of integrity and farsightedness. I've learned from these channels, and from having opinions, and always being aware of what corrections need to be made, and always being aware of how things could change, how things could become better in the future. I have learned that perfection is not a destination, it is a journey. One of my favorite quotes that pops up occasionally is “perfection is achieved not when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing left to take away.” 

For me, in my business, in a creative life, I create eBooks, I create podcasts, I have conversations, I create courses. There's always more I could say. There's always more I could add. There is always a different angle, a different approach, a different way I could have organized it, a different wording, a different analogy. There's always something that I could change. There's always a correction that could be made. Just because I'm aware of what I think could make an improvement, doesn't mean that what I've created isn't good enough. 

I will start a podcast episode, get 10 minutes into it, and then I have this moment of self-criticism and judgment, and I will stop recording. I'll just say, “No, I'm done. It's not perfect. It's not flowing right. I've lost my train of thought. I've lost track of where I'm going with this conversation. It's wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong." I will hold myself back. 

I was recording episodes for Big Sacral Energy, and I had this perfect plan of how all the podcast episodes were going to go, how everything was going to flow, and I recorded that first episode over 50 times. I spent two weeks trying to get through one episode, one conversation, and it was because I was so critical of it. Because I was so opinionated, I wasn't able to get anywhere. I wasn't acting in integrity. I wasn't creating anything perfect. All I was doing was bouncing back and forth between, “It has to be perfect. It has to be perfect,” and “It’s not good enough.” Because I was in that energy, I was very frustrated. I wasn't being productive, and what I've realized is that there's always something else that you can add. There's always something more that you can do, but just because there's more that can be done doesn't mean that what you did wasn't enough.

I have to come back to what is my intention, and how can I stay in integrity? For me, staying in integrity is if I'm going to teach intuitive business, if I'm going to teach that it doesn't have to be perfect, then I have to be perfectly imperfect. I have to just show up and be in that energy. I can't be worried about too many opinions or anything like that. 

I feel like we don't understand that the shadows are not a bad thing. The shadows are going to be there, and you create that gift by oscillating between those two shadows. It's somewhere in the middle of feeling inferior and superior; somewhere in the middle of feeling like what I've done is absolutely not enough, and saying that no one else could ever live up to my standards. Somewhere in the middle of that range is me staying in integrity.

So, superiority, this energy, this opinion, these judgments that I am better than other people, keeps me in integrity because it raises the bar for me. It tells me that I have high standards. It keeps me in a space where I am pushing myself to be better than other people. I am pushing myself to be the best version of myself in every moment. I am stretching myself to reach into that superiority energy, and I'm staying in integrity by also holding the belief of I could be worse than everyone; I could be less than everyone. But somewhere in the middle, I find integrity by realizing that I am human. I am not the right coach for some people. I am worse than other coaches for certain clients. But for other clients, I'm better. For certain people, I am the correct teacher. I am the correct mentor. That means that in somebody's world, I'm going to be inferior. 

There are going to be certain people that believe things about human design that I disagree with, and in their world, I am less than them. I am inferior than them. I am not doing a good enough job. I am not doing what's in integrity for them. For them, I am out of integrity because of the approach that I am taking. They're going to judge me. They're going to have their opinions. But this farsightedness and the energy of perfectionism, if I'm holding that duality, it also means that everyone is equal.

We stay in integrity by realizing when we're feeling inferior and when we’re feeling like there's room for improvement. I stay in integrity when I check my ego of feeling like I'm better than everyone else. I'm not as argumentative, but I'm also not as self-critical because I recognize that everyone is perfect because also no one is perfect, and perfection is so subjective. It's not a destination. It's something that we continue to do. Perfection is a process. 

A lot of these judgements, criticism, and these shadows really popped up around my business structure. Can I actually create a sustainable business if I'm not wanting to have a really strict plan, if I don't want to have a consistent launch schedule, or if I don't want to run the same two programs over and over again? I see people who have certain business models, and this part of me will judge it. I will judge my opinion of am I being flippant? Am I being all over the place? Am I being chaotic by just following my intuition and just doing whatever the heck I want over here? The people who have a super strong plan, are those people better than me? 

I can look at that, I can observe that, and I can not get attached to anything. I don't have to be attached to the judgements that I see. I get to let go of it because I'm not actually looking for a final answer. I'm not looking for perfection. I'm not actually trying to figure out if I'm better than anyone or worse than anyone anymore. I'm not trying to see if I'm like super self-critical or if I'm supposed to be critical of others. I'm not trying to find an ultimate answer. As soon as I recognize the pattern of judging myself, if I'm questioning myself, I can choose to stay in integrity and take a step back. I recognize that I am doing that thing where I'm bouncing back and forth between these two shadows, and I can literally just in that moment, let go. I don't have to know if I'm better than them. I don't have to know if I'm worse than them. I don't have to prove anything. I don't have to share my opinion if I don't have an invitation. 

In that moment, I look at is it actually beneficial to me right here, right now, to be questioning this? Is it benefiting me in the long run to be self-critical of this? By overly judging myself and being overly self-critical and feeling like I am the absolute worst person in the world, is that actually keeping me in integrity? No, because I'm an empowering person. Literally, with gate 34 is my conscious sun, empowerment is such a big part of who I am, and if I'm going to stay in integrity with my overall design, I have to also be empowering myself. I can't be self-critical of myself. I have to give myself recognition. 

With both gate 17 and gate 18, when they're turned inward, when I'm really judging myself, when I'm really self-critical, when I am comparing myself to other people, I realize that I am not the intended subject. I am not the intended subject for those channels, for this conversation of trying to find imperfection, or trying to create opinions; I am not the subject. It's not about me. Those channels are invited. Those channels are when other people are curious about the corrections that could be made, they want a bigger picture perspective, and I am able to offer that to them in the moments where it's correct. Because I am constantly aware of every single factor that could make something inferior or superior. 

I have this judgment. I have this analyzing information, but it's not for me to judge me. If I am judging me, if I am just self-critical, if I am holding myself to a standard of perfection, and I am aware of absolutely every detail that could ever possibly go wrong, I am setting myself up for failure because I will never be perfect and every correction that I do make, there's still going to be something else that I could change. There's always more that you can do. 

It pulls me out of integrity when I'm trying to find perfection. It pulls me out of integrity when my opinions are about myself. It pulls me out of integrity when I am judging me instead of allowing that judgment to be used as a guiding tool for other people. I get to offer my corrections. I get to offer my advice. I get to share that with the world when it's invited, and that's when it's fun. That's when it feels good. That's when I feel great about the gifts that I have, instead of me going back and forth in my head and looking at every single action that I take, every single belief that I have, every single thought that pops across my mind, and judging it as not being good enough.

When I get stuck in that, I tear down my business. That shadow, that this is bad, this is inferior, that self-criticism, that repressive energy, makes me tear down my business. When I take action from the shadow of self-criticism and inferiority, I shame spiral, and I end up doing things like canceling things mid-launch. I end up doing things like not sharing the things that I want to share. I hold myself back. I cancel things. I delete things. I pull it from the internet, and I hide because I'm repressing my energy. That's not what I want to do. 

So in my experience, if you've experienced any kind of self-criticism or perfectionism, it's not about you. Congratulations on having this judgmental awareness and this ability to offer corrections! But know that when you're invited and when your opinion is needed, when your perspective is required, the invitation will be made apparent, but you don't have to judge yourself. You don't have to turn this around on you.

What really supports you and what's going to support you is self recognition in that moment. Instead of being critical or opinionated, that inferiority, superiority, judgment, and opinion, all of that, instead of staying there, take a step back, and remember that it’s not about you. Then you can literally just let it go. You can use some techniques such as thinking the word ‘clear’. Clear. If you just say that word over and over and over again, like a command to yourself, a command to your unconscious, to let go of that energy, to let go of that judgment, to let go of that attachment that you have, it's going to open you up for recognition.

With these projected traits, if you're here to offer perfectionistic energy, if you're here to offer judgment, if you're here to share your opinions, that's great. That's amazing. The invitations will be available to you. If you don't have an invitation, recognize the trait in yourself. Recognize and just remind yourself of how things work. Say, "I've got some judgments popping up. Really, it's just thoughts. Really, it's just where are my awareness is right now, and instead I'm going to remove it. I'm going to take a step back, and I'm going to look at myself as a bigger picture. Big picture, I am someone who has opinions. I am someone who has corrections, but these are things that in their highest frequency, will be invited out of me, and I'll be able to share them. It'll be effortless. I won't even think about it. They'll just flow out of me. It'll be beautiful. The right people will hear them, and I don't need to waste my time and energy tearing myself down inside for absolutely no reason, so I'm not going to," and then you get to move on with your life. You get to move on with your life. 

When you're experiencing the shadows, recognize that you're experiencing them because you hold the duality within you. You do with all the gates that we have defined; we are holding the duality of those shadows. Anyone with gate 17, you have the duality of being both self-critical and extremely opinion. We hold the duality of both of them, and we gain the skill of being able to fine tune and attune to that gift frequency and find that gift frequency, find that space of balance, find that space of integrity, even though we're experiencing the shadows. 

Anytime I'm feeling self-critical, I get to recognize that if I am critical of every single action for the rest of my life, like farsighted, big picture, that's not going to keep me in integrity. That's going to tear me down over and over and over again. That's not beneficial. So, when I'm feeling self-critical, I get to recognize that I see this. I'm aware of this, and I'm choosing to look at the big picture. I'm choosing to let go of this. I'm recognizing that I have this self-critical energy, and I'm also going to pull up that part of me that's really opinionated. Sometimes if I'm feeling one shadow, I'll almost go to the opposite spectrum. I'll see if I can find the other side, so I can hold the entire duality in one moment. If I'm feeling really inferior, I will go to the other side of that. 

Human design is something that I talk about a lot, obviously, and it's something that I am very critical about. I am extremely critical around my own interpretations of it, and I'm very judgmental sometimes around is this correct? Am I sharing the right thing? Is this too far away from the original interpretation? Do I know what I'm talking about? Am I just pulling this out of thin air, or do I actually remember this? I'll go through this very self-critical, feeling inferior mode, and then instead of getting stuck there, I'll play with can I jump to the other spectrum? Instead I'll play with, what if I actually understand human design better than everyone else out there? What if I understand it in a way that is so different and so farsighted and so big picture that everyone should be learning from me? What if the people that are even extremely judgmental and really dislike the content that I have what if I am the teacher they are waiting for? What if my interpretation is actually what they need to hear? They're just being judgmental towards me. Instead of being in this inferiority, maybe everyone is right, and I don't know what I'm talking about, I'll switch into the other side. What if it's actually the complete opposite? That's a fun way to play with it, and somewhere along the lines, if you're playing with both of the shadows, you will find that gift. 

That I think is all I have on gate 17 and 18, and on being self-critical and perfectionism. Perfection is a journey. You'll get there when you get there. I have also learned in my experience as a six line in her three line phase that unless I make enough of a mess, I don't have data to correct on. It's this energy of I could continue to try and create perfection, but until I've done something and actually messed it up, I'm not able to see what needs to be corrected. It's almost like I need things outside of me in order to tell what needs to be corrected. Looking at staying in integrity in that farsightedness, the big picture is if I throw something out there, get the data that I need, if I take messy action, if I do something super, super cringey and get the data that I need, it's going to allow me to get to perfection quicker. It's going to allow me to make the corrections that I need to make sooner and faster than if I'm caught up in the shadows of trying to make it perfect the first time.

If you learned something, if you had an aha moment, if you want to share your experience with judgment or perfectionism, please reach out to me on Instagram! 


If you want more specifics on your design and want daily experiments while learning to follow your big sacral energy you are here to follow, check out Big Sacral Energy! This course started on January 21, but there is still time to sign up! Learn more here: Big Sacral Energy


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